Today, the Massachusetts Building Trades Council released the following letter to expose the Pioneer Institute’s efforts to drive down standards and slash workers’ wages in Massachusetts.

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TO: Greg Sullivan, Research Director, Pioneer Institute
CC: MA State Legislators
FR: Francis X. Callahan, Jr., President of the Massachusetts Building Trades Council
RE: Pioneer Institute Only Cares About Slashing Workers’ Wages

Dear Mr. Sullivan,

The Pioneer Institute claims to be “…an independent, non-partisan, privately funded research organization that seeks to improve the quality of life in Massachusetts…”

Over the years, however, we have watched in frustration as the Pioneer Institute put out “reports” masqueraded as policy, but in reality were little more than veiled attacks on the quality of life for hard-working families and our state’s economy.  Organizations like the Massachusetts Building Trades Council and others often dismissed these “reports” as conclusions in search of facts.

The most recent example is your policy brief regarding Flagger Reform, where you proposed that Massachusetts adopt the low wages of states “like Alabama, Florida, and Utah.” Are you suggesting that Massachusetts aspire to be like Alabama?  A state where civilian flaggers earn $10.70 per hour with no health insurance or retirement benefits?  Did you even notice that this is $1.30 less than the Massachusetts Minimum Wage?

We don’t understand how this squares with Pioneer’s stated mission to “improve the quality of life in Massachusetts”.  Which makes it oddly encouraging in this time of ‘alternative facts’ and purchased opinions, to see the Pioneer Institute reveal its true objective and openly advocate for slashing the wages of Massachusetts’ workers.

Pioneer’s newfound candor presents an opportunity to ask the public and our elected officials what kind of state they want. Should we dramatically cut the wages and benefits of Massachusetts’ workers?  Should we be a state where workers can’t afford to live in the communities where they work, have poor quality health insurance benefits and no chance of saving for retirement?  Or, should Massachusetts lead the nation as a state where workers earn enough to support themselves and their families throughout their careers and into retirement?

Francis X. Callahan, Jr., President
Massachusetts Building Trades Council

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